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My 10 favorite Tom and Jerry shorts

 Ah, Tom and Jerry. The legendary cat and mouse Duo themselves. Usually when it comes to cats and mice, it comes down to the usual scenario: cat chases mouse, cat catches mouse, cat either eats mouse or give it to their owner, to which they then throw it away. But in the case of Tom and Jerry, it's cat chases mouse, mouse outsmarts cat, cat often sustains hilarious injury, mouse usually gets off scot-free. Sure, there are other elements that make things more interesting, like a little girl trying to escape from her abusive and greedy Guardian, pint-sized Martians trying to conquer the Earth, or even crossing paths with the likes of Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes, but for the most part, it's usually just these two battling it out.

 While the two of them have gone on some crazy Adventures, like traveling to outer space, solving a mystery with the affirmation Sherlock Holmes, teaming up with the likes of Jonny Quest or most recently, saving a big reading, it's the original shorts that we're all familiar with. And today, in no particular order, I'm going to talk about 10 of my favorites. Now to be clear, these are shorts that I personally love. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Now to be clear, I am talking about the original shorts throughout the original 3 eras. So nothing from The Tom and Jerry kids show, Tom and Jerry Tales, the Tom and Jerry Show, Tom and Jerry takes New York or any of the movies or newer shorts. Also, even though most of the people on this site have probably already seen most of these shorts, since I am going to be talking about a few plot points in the shorts, I will be putting in a spoiler warning. So read at your own discretion. Now let's stop gabbing and get right into things!

 

1. Fit to be Tied (1952)

Starting off this list is a short featuring one of my favorite characters aside from Tom and Jerry themselves, and one of the duo's most iconic co-stars, Spike the Bulldog.

Now Spike's role in the franchise varies depending on the plot. Often times he's a threat to both Tom and Jerry, sometimes he's an ally to Jerry and serves as a bodyguard to him. In the case of this short, it's the latter.

In this short, after Jerry pulls a tack out of Spike's foot, Spike stinks Jerry and vows to help him whenever he needs him. Even giving him a little bell to ring the call for help. For a while, this works in Jerry's favor. Whenever Tom threatened Jerry, Jerry ring his Bell, and Spike would come to his rescue. But later in the short, a leash law is passed, not only leaving Spike unable to help Jerry, but also allowing Tom to torture both Spike and Jerry. Thankfully for Spike and Jerry, the leash law is lifted, and as one might expect, Tom gets his comeuppance in the end.

 

2. Little Quacker (1954)

Next we have a short featuring one of Jerry's best friends and another favorite character of mine in his self-titled debut, Little Quacker.

In this short, Tom steals an egg from a mama duck in an attempt to cook it. Even after Quacker pops out of the egg instead of the yolk and albumin, Tom is still determined to eat him, even trying to fatten him up on bread. Fortunately for Quacker, Jerry sees what Tom is trying to do to the little duckling, and comes to his rescue. After which, Jerry helps Quacker find his mom, all the while Tom is trying to catch and eat the little duckling. Meanwhile, Quacker's mother is looking for his missing son herself, before seeing her son and Jerry running away from Tom, who at that point, was now chasing them with a push mower, which led to Tom running the poor mother duck over and cutting off her front feathers, exposing her undergarments. When the mother and the little duckling are reunited, Tom still tries the duckling from his mother. During this, Quacker tell his mother what Tom has been doing to him and Jerry. When the mother tried to confirm this from Tom, he decided to back sass her, only for her to call for her mate, who then precedes to repeatedly attacked the poor feline with his own push mower.

The reason this is my favorite, is because the way Quacker talks and acts reminds me so much of Donald Duck from this Disney shorts.

 

3. Jerry's Cousin (1951)

In most of the shorts, Jerry is usually capable of handling Tom on his own. But that's not to say that he isn't afraid of asking for help, especially if he's outclassed. In the case of this short, Jerry called upon his super strong cousin, Muscles, to help him deal with Tom. After some fail attempts to take out Muscles and taking a few beatings from him, Tom decided to call in some help, only for said help to take a beating themselves. After which, Muscles, with a whistle, made Tom, who at this point, was fearing for his life, bow at and kiss his feet.

At the end of the short, Muscles is seen giving Jerry an extra set of his clothing before leaving, allowing Jerry to scare Tom in his cousin's place. I wish I had a cousin as tough as Muscles.

 

4. Jerry-Go-Round (1966)

Next, we have a short from what is actually my favorite era of Tom and Jerry shorts: the Chuck Jones era.

Now this short has a similar plot to that of "Fit to be Tied", in that after helping an animal in need, said animal would protect Jerry from harm, specifically Tom's wrath. But instead of a bulldog, like Spike it was a female circus elephant that acted as Jerry's bodyguard in this short. Jerry even got to perform in the circus with the elephant as a clown. The short ends with Jerry and the Elephant performing in a parade, and Tom attempting one last ditch effort to get rid of them, by trying to get them to step on a plunger to set off some Dynamite, only for the elephant's stopping the cause the dynamite to fall into the sewer where Tom was hiding. You can imagine what happened next.

The reason why I like the Chuck Jones shorts, mainly has to do with the art style. I don't know why, there's just something about it that I like. Probably because of how cute Jerry looks in them. And Jerry certainly looks adorable while performing as a clown.

 

 5. The Zoot Cat

 Any fan of Tom and Jerry will tell you that one of the most well-known traits of the duo is that they rarely talk and prefer to let their actions speak for them. Usually when they do talk, it's usually because the plot demands it. And the 1944 short, The Zoot Cat, is one of many examples. In this short, Tom is preparing for a date with a beautiful girl cat, and is even planning to offer poor Jerry to her as a gift, similarly do you have a guy offers a piece of jewelry to a girl they like. When the girl of his dreams came to the door, Tom precedes to woo his potential mate, only to end up making a big fool of himself, and in front of Jerry no less. To add insult to injury, the girl, whose name is Toots by the way, then proceeded to berate the poor pussycat, going as far as to calling him 'corny', before dismissing the heartbroken feline and walking back inside, but not before tossing the case with Jerry inside back at him. After which, Jerry then stick say big ear of corn into the case before I going inside with Toots. After having his heart broken, Tom heard a radio commercial about getting a zoot suit. Thinking that it might give him a second chance with Toots, Tom decided that he would get his own zoot suit. But with him being a cat, and therefore doesn't have the money needed to buy one, he decided to make his zoot suit. With the zoot suit made, Tom then proceed to woo the girl of his dreams, which is surprisingly did. But liking every Tom and Jerry short, it wasn't long before a certain little brown mouse decided to interfere. Not only did Jerry cut in on Tom and Toots' dance, but also lit Tom's foot on fire and hooking him unto the blinds, resulting in him getting dunked in the Fishbowl, which eventually led to his Zoot Suit to shrink until it popped off of him and fell onto Jerry.

As I said before, this short is one of many where Tom, and occasionally Jerry, actually talked. And of course, this is my favorite.

 

6. The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943)

Any ordinary mouse who is chased by a cat can only run for so long before they get caught and hope that they don't. But Jerry, as we all know, is no ordinary mouse! He will fight back against Tom, and more often than not, Jerry usually comes out on top. And it's only the case in this Academy Award winning short! In this short, Jerry is chased by Tom, as per usual. Until the spunky little rodent runs into his 'anti cat bunker', and that's when the real battle starts! Jerry fights back with a variety of different ammunition, including eggs, light bulb and a variety of explosives. Of course, Tom, being the stubborn feline that is, doesn't back down from from a fight either! And even though he managed to catch Jerry in the end, even going as far as to tie the poor mouse to a rocket, Jerry once again outsmarts his feline rival by tricking him into tying himself to the rocket before it flies off into the night sky, exploding into a flash of red, white and blue lights in the shape of the American flag. Now that's what I call American!

 

7. "Is There a Doctor in the Mouse?" (1964)

 Here's another short from the Chuck Jones Era. In this one, Jerry uses a bit of science you give himself super speed, and as one who's familiar with the character might expect, he uses is Newfound speed to snag some tasty snacks, as well as to torment poor Tom. Tom, not knowing that it's Jerry at the time, thinks it's some kind of fly with a rocket powered jetpack, and attempts to lure him out with a watermelon and tries to swat the super speedy pest. Trying to figure out what he's dealing with, Tom decides to videotape the supersonic glutton, and at the flooring down the film, he finds out that it's none other than our favorite mischief making mouse. Now that he knows who he's dealing with, Tom attempts to catch The rocketing rodent, and of course this being Tom, he uses one of his most used and frequently failed tools to catch the little brown mouse, with a twist: a mouse trap with cheese as bait, disguise as a sandwich. It goes as well as you expect from one of Tom's traps. But just as Jerry celebrates his latest win against Tom, his super speed wears off, what's taking him to retreat back into his mouse hole and attempt to remake the formula that gave him super speed in the first place. While he did we make the formula, it didn't have the same results as last time. Fortunately for Jerry, it was just a results he was hoping for. Unfortunately for Tom... Well, let's just say that he had a big problem on his hand.

 

8. Busy Buddies (1956)

While Tom and Jerry are known for being enemies, there have been several moments in the franchise where the two of them put aside their differences and actually help each other out. Such is the case with this 1956 short. In this one, when Tom's owners go out on a date, and hire a babysitter to watch that baby while they're gone, things quickly derail when said babysitter decide to skip out on her responsibilities and call up her friends, leaving baby unsupervised. Needless to say, it wasn't long before the baby broke out of its crib, forcing the cat and mouse Duo to work together to keep the baby safe. They even risk getting caught by the police to keep the baby out of Harm's Way. When the parents came home, they thought that the babysitter who's watching the baby the whole time, not knowing that it was Tom and Jerry keeping the baby safe. Maybe the next time mom and dad go out, they should have Tom and Jerry watch their baby. They wouldn't even have to worry about paying them. They would work for peanuts, or any food for that matter!

 

9. Mucho Mouse (1957)

While Tom and Jerry's chases usually take place close to home, more than often, their war with each other takes them halfway around the world. Take this short for example. In this one, which takes place in Spain, a orange house cat is playing on his guitar when his owner makes him chase after Jerry, who is named 'El Magnifico' in this short. As you might expect, Jerry, or El Magnifico in this case, outsmart the orange tabby forcing his owner to call Tom for help, who in this short, is a world champion mouse catcher. Needless to say, history repeats itself as the blue cat is once again outsmarted by the little brown mouse. Even with him acting as a bull, Tom was no match for El Magnifico.

The interesting thing about this short, is just like with the Zoot cat, Tom and Jerry actually speaking this one. Granted, they only spoke Spanish.

 

10. The Night Before Christmas (1941)

To wrap things off, here's one of my favorite things to watch around Christmas. As you can probably tell by the title, this takes place on the night before Christmas. It starts with j pulling out of his mouse hole to check out the Christmas scenery. It's not long before Tom shows up. I think you guys know what happens next: Tom and Jerry, Tom and tries to catch Jerry, Jerry outsmarts Tom. This time around however, Tom actually catches Jerry and throws him out into the cold. It's not long, though, before Tom feels guilty for what he has done and decides to do the right thing in bringing Jerry to warm him up. Once Jerry is all warmed up, Tom gives him a candy cane before going who is bowl to take a drink of milk. But before he could, Jerry stopped him and used his candy cane to pull out a mouse trap that he put in Tom's milk bowl earlier from off screen, we paying him for saving his life. The short ends with Jerry using his candy cane to take a piece of cheese off a mouse trap near his mouse hole. Rather than snapping shut down Jerry, the Trap ends up playing Christmas music, ending short on a nice note. No pun intended.

 

And there you have it, folks! 10 or my favorite Tom and Jerry shorts. Again, these are some the shorts that I personally like. So let me know in the comments section below which Tom and Jerry shorts that you like.

 

Well, that's it for now! I need to work on the next article. Until then, stay retro! ;-)

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twcfan92 Posted on Sep 11, 2021 at 12:44 AM

I loved Tom and Jerry growing up. Zoot Cat is probably my favorite, followed by Jerry and the Goldfish. Other memorable ones include Salt Water Tabby, The Cat Concerto, Heavenly Puss, That's My Pup, Touche Pussy Cat, and The Little Orphan.

Benjanime Posted on Sep 10, 2021 at 04:27 AM

man, i really gotta get myself in a tom and jerry marathon kick soon, i miss watching these on cartoon network before the channel became a shadow of its former self

Mr Magic Posted on Sep 09, 2021 at 06:59 PM

Zoot Cat was a good one. Funny and jazzy. The Christmas one was also funny and charming.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 09, 2021 at 05:48 PM

An awesome list. So many great episodes. My personal favorites include one where Tom finds himself heading to Heaven and then Hell and one where Jerry's relative keeps stealing Tom's whiskers.

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